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American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus - Lisa Wade
Overall, a good book. I didn't necessarily learn anything new having graduated from college a few years ago and seen hookup culture firsthand. However, I think that this is an important book that brings the idea of hookup culture into the eye of academia.

The book is composed a of a lot of quotes from students, which felt a little dry and repetitive to me at times, but Wade does also provide previous research and insight into the things that the students discuss.

Wade did well incorporating intersectionality and how various people experience hookup culture differently and how it favors white, heterosexual men.

I also think that Wade did a good job of differentiating that hookups are not the problem, it's the culture that is often racist, homophobia, sexist, ableist, etc.

I would have liked for Wade to go a little more in depth as to how she set up her research. Little things like "other details have been changed and sometimes dramatized" is a bit concerning to me. Also, the fact that she used students in her class seems to push the ethical boundaries. As she writes about the students she talked to and interviewed, it is clear that she developed a close relationship to some them. While the students' stories wouldn't change, I think it just makes the whole project seem a little iffy on her part.

"The Perfect Neighbors" Short Story

Good morning, everyone!

My new short story, "The Perfect Neighbors" is now available over at Flash Fiction Magazine.

A darkly humorous tale about the horrors of new neighbors.



And don't forget to follow me on Facebook for updates on new stories and crafting shenanigans!




Sprout Street Neighbors: Five Stories - Anna Alter

A very cute collection of stories.

The stories were simple, but interesting. The stories focused on friendship and helping others.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a quick read, but very fun.

It's Easy Being Green: A Handbook for Earth-Friendly Living - Crissy Trask

Found this in the Lending Library and was hoping to get a few useful tips.

This book was okay. Some of the tips were good, but having been published over 10 years ago, it was pretty out of date.

The thing that annoyed me the most was that the chapters were overly wordy. It wasn't a quick read. It was a boring and tedious read. The checklist itself was helpful, but the lists of websites and paragraph after paragraph of repetitive information were not. The double columns of text on each page was overwhelming as well.

An okay read, but more up-to-date information can easily be found elsewhere.

I did appreciate that it was printed on recycled paper though.

Meow Means Mischief - Ann Whitehead Nagda, Stephanie Roth
I really enjoyed this book.

It is simple and easy to read for young readers, but there are complex themes in it. I loved how Nagda addressed Rana's journey to fit in at a new school and the evolution of her attitudes toward the "wrong grandma". A great book about accepting who you are and embracing people's differences.

Obviously the cat adventures were humorous and cute. Well written and realistic.

I loved the way the book came full circle at the end.

This is a heart warming story of a girl, a stray cat, a grandmother, and the love they develop for each other.
Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift, Robert DeMaria Jr.

This book was definitely weird.

While I understand it is written as a satire, most of it went over my head since it is so specific to the time period in which it was written. The notes on the text helped so I got a basic understanding, but still did not get the majority of what Swift was saying.

However, it was still a very creative and entertaining book. There was a lot of adventure, although very slow at times. I really enjoyed the world building of the various places that Gulliver found himself in. I also have to admit that there is something very satisfying in reading about bodily functions in such an elegant and formal writing style. The book was very humorous at times.

One drawback was the inconsistency of Gulliver's character. Sometimes he seems to be the personification of satire, demonstrating his ignorance, while other times he is the one to point out the satirized elements. This was a little confusing at times since sometimes Gulliver seems to be speaking as Swift while other times Swift is using Gulliver to make fun of something.

Overall a good, yet slow read. Very creative and entertaining.

Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher

I am going to do my best to sum up my thoughts and feelings about this book, but be warned, what follows will probably be a mess. I was really weary of this book. I kept putting off reading it, because I wasn't sure how it would handle the subject matter. I heard that it "glorified suicide" and that was something I knew I could not deal with. But once I picked it put, I didn't want to put it down. I finished it in a weekend. This is an amazing book, because it doesn't "glorify suicide". In fact, it does the opposite and that it what makes it so great. Yes, this is an entertaining book. It is suspenseful and mysterious. It feels true and satisfies that voyeuristic urge we as humans feel in regards to how other people live their lives. But it also does so much more. It talks about suicide. Not as a joke. Not as a plot device. It really talks about suicide. This book makes you listen to a person who died by suicide, really listen, and see the things that led up to it. I also wasn't sure about the concept of thirteen reasons/people that contributed to the suicide, but Asher handled this expertly. Instead of simply blaming people, he used this to show why we need to be nicer to people, because we don't know what's going on in their lives. He demonstrates why we need to be supportive and kind. And most of all, he calls out rape culture. All of the "little" things that happen in the book such as a slap on the behind or rumors of sexual activity contribute to Hannah's pain and each builds off the next. Rape culture is presented as a series of building blocks that act to "excuse" or "justify" horrible behavior. And Asher shows what this can ultimately lead to and why we cannot deny the impact of rape culture in our society. Reading the interview at the end of the book really drives home how important this book is. It makes the topic of suicide more acceptable and easier to talk about, which instead of "glorifying suicide", leads to people talking about it, seeking help, and taking the signs they see in others seriously. In Asher's narrative, it is clear that he talked to real women about their experiences and incorporated pieces of this into the book. It feels very real and many parts are disturbingly relatable. Suicide is such a taboo topic in America, but this book treats it the way it should be treated, as a real concern, not something to be ignored or vilified. Instead it shows why we need to talk about it and why we need to focus on how we can help prevent the antecedents leading up to thoughts of suicide as well as what to do when those thoughts to occur. A powerful novel with important messages and lessons.

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Whispers and Echoes Issue 1

Five of my new micro fiction stories are now available in the first issue of Whispers and Echoes.


Check out "A Necessary Breakup", "Life is But a Dream", "The Snowstorm", "A Soul Reflected", and "Empathy". You can find them by following the link or on Wattpad (https://www.wattpad.com/user/McKenzieLRichardson).



Fairy Tale Twist

Hello everyone!


Check out my new micro fiction over at 101 Words. For fans of creepy fairy tale retellings.



The New Old Me: My Late-Life Reinvention - Meredith Maran

I received this book through Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this book. Maran's writing is very relatable even as she describes specific experience I have not personally had. She has a knack for describing the base emotion in a very relatable way. From grief to love, fear to joy, pain to acceptance, the experiences may not be the same, but the emotions felt certainly are. In this book, Maran recounts her divorce, breakup, losing her job, deaths and illnesses of friends and family, and other events. But mostly the book is about love, friendship, and independence.

Martin's writing is humorous and heart breaking, and everything in between, but most of all it is raw and real.

Great book.

Ever After High: A Wonderlandiful World - Shannon Hale

While this book is very different than the others in the series and focuses less on the whole Storybook of Legends drama, it is still very fun to read. I loved the Wonderlandiful twists. Hale was very creative in her narration technique and breaking the fourth wall to pull the reader into the story in a very Peter Pan-esque way.

At first I wasn't sure how I'd like it since Cedar and Lizzie were the main characters in it, but once the action got going, I loved it. It was easy to get into the story.

This one is much more action-packed than the other books with lots of epic adventures, strange fight scenes, and running through chaos. It was amazing!

A great read that is sure to delight Ever After High fans. Different than the rest of the series, but it a very Wonderlandiful way.

Doll Shaker - Casey Renee Kiser, Jasmyn Taylor Givens

I received a copy of this book through Library Thing in exchange for an honest review.

I am a big fan of Casey Renee Kiser. I love the unique style of her poetry. It is casual, but has so much feeling behind it. I really enjoy reading poems that take my breath away or make me really think, even if I'm not entirely sure what the poem is about. These are those kind of poems. Some have obvious meanings while others are a bit trickier to figure out. But they all have a uniqueness that I really enjoy.

I liked that this collection centered around the theme of toys and dolls. I also liked the use of size and style of text to emphasize different lines.

Another great collection of poetry by Casey Renee Kiser.

Bad Kitty Meets the Baby - Nick Bruel

Another great Bad Kitty book.

Very silly and adorable. I love the illustrations as well as the little fun facts pages about cats in trees.

This book also includes tips on how to teach a cat to do tricks.

Very cute. Loved it.

The Chaos of Longing - K.Y. Robinson
This book was okay.

I wasn't a huge fan of the format and style of the poetry. To me they did not have a nice flow. They felt more random than actually thought through and planned.

I liked that the book was divided into four sections: inception, longing, chaos, epiphany. This helped to separate the concepts in the book. However, because they were divided this was, it was very clear how similar the poems were. Many of the poems blurred together and didn't feel like distinct works. They relied heavily on the same ideas and images.

While there was definitely heart and emotion in the poetry, they felt too quick, like little bursts of ideas rather than fully-developed pieces.

While there were a few interesting images created, I wasn't too impressed with the imagery in this book.
You Need More Sleep: Advice from Cats - Francesco Marciuliano

A very cute book filled with adorable cat pictures and lots of silly cat advice. It is definitely good for a few cat-related laughs and will remind any cat owner to ponder the basic question, "Why did I ever get a cat?"

I liked Marciuliano's poetry more, because of the uniqueness that format presented, but this book was still a fun read.